Martek name to disappear as DSM creates new Nutritional Lipids business

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Martek, Omega-3 fatty acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid, Dsm

Martek: End of an era
Martek: End of an era
Seven months after sealing a billion dollar deal to acquire Martek, DSM has created Nutritional Lipids, a new division that will combine Martek’s algal omega-3 and omega-6 products and DSM Nutritional Products’ polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) portfolio.

Product brand names such as lifesDHA will remain, but the Martek name will be gradually phased out, said a spokeswoman.

The Nutritional Lipids business, which will be based at Martek’s HQ in Columbia, Maryland, will be headed up by former Martek chief operating officer Peter Nitze.

Martek’s former chief executive Steve Dubin will take up a new role at DSM (to be announced shortly) while former president David Abramson has been appointed senior executive advisor for DSM Nutritional Products.

Global reach

Martek has its headquarters and some R&D facilities in Columbia, Maryland; an R&D facility in Boulder, Colorado, and production facilities in South Carolina and Kentucky. Its Amerifit branded supplements business is based in Cromwell, Connecticut.

DSM is a Dutch company but its Nutritional Products division (created when it purchased Roche Vitamins in 2003) is based in Basel, Switzerland. The US HQ of its Nutritional Products division is in Parsippany, New Jersey, where it has just opened a state-of-the-art innovation center​.

While reporting structures had changed, it had been largely “business as usual​” at Martek following its acquisition by DSM, product applications director Christine Bunting told NutraIngredients-USA at the IFT show in June.

DSM had not tried to impose a big corporation mentality on Martek, which had always been “very entrepreneurial”, ​she said. “I think they want to capture some of this.DSM will help us grow internationally. They have access to geographies and customers where we have no business yet.”

New products

New products – notably Martek’s DHA-O blend of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahaexanoic acid) and a freezable DHA emulsion for ambient drinks – were also helping to broaden Martek’s appeal in the food and drink sector, said Bunting.

“It’s easier to put DHA in milk or products containing fat, but most shelf-stable beverages don’t contain fat. Customers don’t want to homogenise juice just to incorporate omega-3s, so that’s why we came up with a new emulsion.”

Dubbed the ‘fishless fish oil’, DHA-O offers food and drink manufacturers and supplement makers a vegetarian alternative to fish oil with heart, brain and eye benefits.

The oil, which is derived from a different species of the Schizochytrium microalgae it uses to produce its life’sDHA brand, contains half as much EPA as DHA, giving it a fatty acid profile similar to many fish oils.

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